Saturday, December 11, 2010

The subtle voice leading of a Bartok cadence (in which the middle voice becomes the bottom voice, while the bottom voice "leaps" to its overtone an octave higher, becoming the top voice, and the top voice becomes the middle) reminded me of a sleeve I saw over thirty years ago.

It was on a jacket worn by Jean Louis Barrault in a production of The Marriage of Figaro (the play) with costumes by Yves Saint Laurent. There he stood, center stage, in profile to the audience, his arm relaxed at his side, the sleeve perfectly draped without a crease or wrinkle. Breathtaking. Then he bent his arm at the elbow. Still no disturbing line. Even more breathtaking. I will never forget that sleeve.

Well-performed voice-leading should be like that, don't you think?